Which of the following statements about Burner’s syndrome is true?
A) The mechanism of injury involves acute hyperextension of the shoulder while the neck and head are forced in the same direction.
B) Symptoms include temporary weakness, pain, paresthesias, and decreased sensation of the distal extremity.
C) The injury involves traction forces on the spinal cord’s dorsal columns.
D) Most cases cause permanent neurologic deficits.
E) The condition is associated with overuse injury of the knees.
Answer and Discussion
The answer is B. (Symptoms include temporary weakness, pain, paresthesias, and decreased sensation of the distal extremity.)
Mechanisms of “burners syndrome .” :
(A) Traction to the brachial plexus from ipsilateral shoulder depression and contralateral lateral neck flexion.
(B) Direct blow to the supraclavicular fossa at Erb's point.
(C)Compression of the cervical roots or brachial plexus from ipsilateral lateral flexion and hyperextension.
Burner’s syndrome is seen mostly in football players and results from a tackling or blocking injury.
The injury occurs when the contact shoulder is depressed and the head and neck are forced in the
opposite direction of contact. The traction-type forces placed on the brachial plexus lead to variable symptoms of weakness, pain, paresthesias, limited motion, and decreased sensation of the affected extremity. Diminished reflexes may also be seen.
The condition should be treated with caution, and cervical disc or bony injury should be ruled out. In most cases, the symptoms last only a few minutes; however, the athlete should not return to play until a complete evaluation can be performed and the symptoms resolve.